During this last week many of the top six publishers released their 2nd Quarter financial results and bodes well for the eBook industry. Lots of new Android devices have been launched and there is tons of news as always! Welcome to the Good e-Reader Week in Review weekly publication, covering the essential stories you need to know about.
The Dutch eBook Industry is Rising – eBook sales in the Netherlands are picking up and gaining momentum from the first half of 2012. Over 600,000 ebooks have been sold this year from a pool of only 16,000 titles. Industry analysts predict that the entire digital market constitutes 3% of the entire publishing segment and should increase to over 7% by the end of the year.
Overdrive Unleashes Developers Portal – Popular Digital eBook service Overdrive, mainly caters to Libraries and Schools to facilitate the borrowing of digital books. The company unveiled new developing tools aimed at companies, schools and libraries to make their own apps, using the overdrive system. This may result in Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and other mainstream e-reading companies to develop their own apps to allow for digital lending, right on the device.
The Parallels of Erotica and Christian Fiction – Christian Fiction and Erotica have a fair bit in common. Patchen Barrs mentioned that “Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James and religious ones like Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo are achieving similar success in the ebook market. Besides death, there are two experiences universal in the human condition: sex and faith. As far back as the 14th Century households had to be wealthy to afford a single book. Often that manuscript was a prayer book with erotic pictures in the margins. They served both body and soul.”
Penguin and Simon & Shuster give Quarterly Results – Over the last week Penguin has given us a sense of how the company has been performing for the first six months of 2012. Profits for the company are down almost 50% from a year ago, mostly due to the tremendous success of the 50 Shades of Grey Trilogy and the Hunger Games. Both of these books contributed to the lack of sales, which fell by 4% to £441 million and has adjusted operating profit down 48% to £22 million. Book sales may be down but the company is making headway in the world of ebooks. Total sales in the first six months have increased by 1/3 and now account for nearly one in five of Penguin’s total revenue. In 2009, ebooks were just 2% of Penguin’s total revenues, growing to 12% last year.
Digital eBook sales at Simon & Schuster are seeing strong growth in the second financial quarter of 2012. They have risen by almost 44% and now account for 21% of the company’s total book sales. Revenues increased by 3% and garnered the company a cool $189 million from $183 million over the second quarter in 2011. Some of the ebooks that saw the most sales during this period were The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King and Cowards by Glenn Beck.
Smashwords Authors dominate the New York Times Bestseller List– Does anyone still remember the arguments from only a year or so ago, the ones where critics said that digital publishing was going to destroy the book industry or where fans of ebooks promised it would be the death of paper books? Or the literary agents and publishers who firmly held the doors shut in order to keep the digitally and self-published riff raff from being confused with the “real” authors?
Apparently, no one remembers. Mark Coker, CEO of ebook distribution platform Smashwords, posted a startling announcement on the site’s blog: as of yesterday, four self-published authors have a total of seven books on the New York Times’ ebook fiction bestseller list.
Good e-Reader Apps Updated – The Good e-Reader Android and Playbook App Stores now see over three thousand titles being downloaded by over six million patrons worldwide. Over the last week we updated our Mobile, Tablet and Playbook Apps! We busted in new features like being able to connect via DATA only for the new Playbook 2 LTE model! We also really polished up many of the main elements to the app store, like a bigger search bar and bigger banner. Over 16 bug fixes went into these new versions and really looks solid now. If you are looking for an alternative to Amazon and Google, check out the Good e-Reader APP Store.
Blackberry Playbook 2 Launches in Canada, August 9th – The Playbook 2 is due out next week and I am very excited. Hardware wise it it has a bit faster processor and 32 GB of internal memory. The big new change is the ability to use 4G and LTE speeds, to finally give you mobility while on the go, without having to worry about Blackberry Bridge software. Its expensive though, be prepared to drop between $300 to $500 with Bell, Rogers and Telus for the unit and then factor in monthly data costs.
Browser Based Battles will cause e-Reading Fallout – New contributor to our website Sherry Snider talked about incoming browser based battles. Apple has announced that it is pulling all support for Safari from Windows based PC’s. If you recall Amazon, Kobo and other major companies have developed HTML5 e-Reading apps that allow you to read and buy books on any Windows PC or mobile operating system. Pulling Safari support will hinder millions of people who use it to read books via the Web.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.